Before Terrorism: Distribution and Abundance of African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) in Sambisa – Amshaka Game Reserve, Bornu State, Nigeria
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Studies was undertaken to derive information on the abundance, as well as the distribution of African elephants in the Sambisa-Amshaka Game Reserve. For the purposes of the study, the reserve was divided into zones that were then compared. The results reveal that Sambisa-Amshaka Game Reserve holds an ample population of both resident and migratory elephant throughout the year. A total number of 132 elephant groups were sighted during a drive of 29350 m. There is, therefore, a 95% certainty that the true population size lies between 60 and 70 confidence limits, and there is no significant difference P>0.05 between the zones in both elephant composition and distribution. In addition, 190 species woody plants were found browsed by elephant in the study area. Other grasses and forbs were also browsed. The problem facing elephants in the study area includes farming activities during the dry season that block the route the migratory elephants pass through, and also the drying up of rivers. We conclude that if the elephant herd is maintained in the reserve, eco-tourism based on elephant watching will yield economic benefits to the game reserve, the state and the Nation at large. Adequate protection of the elephant species in the reserve is therefore recommended.
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